Page last updated at 22:40 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 23:40 UK

US marshals seize Madoff property

Bernard Madoff's yacht Bull. File photo
Madoff's yacht was "extremely well kept", a marshal's spokesman said

Marshals in Florida have seized the multi-million dollar Palm Beach house of disgraced US financier Bernard Madoff and his wife.

Madoff's 55ft (17m) yacht, named Bull, and a motor boat were seized earlier from two Florida marinas.

Last month, Madoff, 70, pleaded guilty to all 11 charges that he masterminded a $50bn (£35bn) investment fraud.

Separately, US financial regulators accused a major feeder fund of lying to clients about the risks they faced.

Officials in Florida confirmed that the Madoff's house in the exclusive area of the state had been entered and secured.

"We're seizing the property as we speak," Barry Golden of the US Marshals Service told Reuters.

Mr Golden was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the process of changing locks and conducting an inventory of the contents could take "a while".

'Acting alone'

Madoff arriving for Thursday's court hearing
Bernard Madoff could be sentenced to up to 150 years in prison

Earlier, regulators in Massachusetts brought civil fraud charges against the Fairfield Greenwich Group, saying company officials had been coached by Madoff on how to answer questions by federal investigators about his investment practices.

Fairfield Greenwich - which had reportedly invested some $7bn (£5bn) with the disgraced financier - denied the allegations, saying it would "vigorously" contest them.

Last month, Madoff was remanded to prison until his sentencing in June. He could be jailed for up to 150 years.

Madoff has said he acted alone in masterminding the Ponzi scheme, whereby early investors were paid off with the money injected by new clients.

A former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market, Madoff had been a player on Wall Street for more than 40 years.

While Madoff said the scheme only started in the early 1990s, prosecutors say it began in the 1980s.

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